Skip to main content

Disability Living Allowance changes in the Spending Review and over the current parliament to 2014/15

65 replies [Last post]
John
John's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2008

The spending review was the second stage of finding out how the government will deal with claimants on Disability Living Allowance (DLA). We already know there is a determination to save over £1bn from the DLA budget by 2014/15<. That this will include new legislation and reform with a suspected new assessment< being adopted.

We all have to wait to discover the detail of all the proposed welfare reform and subsequent legislation.

As a start, the Comprehensive Spending Review, detailed the first of the savings to DLA sum £135million by 2014/15.

Removal of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) Mobility Component from Care Home Residents from October 2012.

This change relates only to those who are in hospital, care home or similar institution, after a prescribed number of days, paid for through a public body.

The thinking is that the government/Public Body should not pay twice for the same service provision.

If you pay for your own care wholly through your own funds you are not effected here.

After 28 days (84 days for child) of being resident in a care home funded by a public body. Payment of your DLA Mobility Component will stop. This includes those in the Motability Scheme in both care homes and hospitals.

Already those in hospital/care home or similar institution have seen the removal of there DLA Care component, subject to the relevant criteria.

I have emailed Motability< for guidance for those facing this situation and I have also emailed the DWP Disability & Carers Service< to provide more specific detail on Hospital admissions. I will publish when I get them.

 

Observations.

As the DLA  Care component is removed on the basis that care is provided by the state in a different form namely paying for a care home/hospital/other similar institution place.  The implication for those facing the loss of there DLA Mobility is that those same institutions will have to provide alternative solutions for claimants that have a requirement to travel.  I am not a lawyer but I cannot help but wonder, where an institution is not able to provide an alternative transport solution that a claim to have the DLA Mobility Component paid could be made using the Disability Discrimination Act, Equalities Act and/or the Human Rights Act. If you have legal expertise I would be interested if this announcement may not be subject to legal proceedings and/or a Judicial Review.

More broadly, its clear that, the coalition definition of "fairness" and "dignity". Regardless of your political belief. Is not extended to disabled members of our "civilised society".  This, and it is my view, means we face a very draconian approach to support across all disabled spending across government in the coming years. This is, from across the media, accepted as unfair to disabled people and the "direction of travel" regressive and impacting on the most vulnerable the most.

John
John's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2008

Motability have come back with a response, very promptly. This is there current statement -

 

The recent Government Spending Review included changes to DLA from October 2012 for disabled people in hospitals or care homes.  Motability will consider in the coming weeks how the Scheme will manage the relatively small number of its customers affected by the new arrangements.'

 

They have committed to send me more detail when it becomes available.

anonymous (not verified)
anonymous's picture

 I am very grateful for your prompt help with explaining the implications of the CSR. Yours was the first site we turned to. Your work is very much appreciated.

On Friday in the clinic I met a friend who has  been diagnosed with cancer. His comment that at least this should protect him from the welfare changes was delivered with a smile but is still a potent indictment of the system

John
John's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2008

Your very welcome. I am sorry to hear your friend is facing Cancer and I hope the long term prognosis is good for them.

Depending on his prognosis and I am sorry to raise this but I must for completeness. If his prognosis is terminal within 6 months and he hasn't cliamed DLA he needs to complete form DS1500 this will fast track a new application.

If he is already in reciept of DLA he needs to inform the DWP.  I would recomend he do so in writting with a supporting medical report from his doctor.  There is a legal duty to inform on changes in circumstances, especially as his new diagnosis may impact on other medical conditions.

He will also find that Cancer is treated more favourably. However this doesn't necessarily negate the assessment process moving forward.

Wish you all, the best.

anonymous (not verified)
anonymous's picture

Sorry, had to come in here.

 

What a joke!  I have Leukemia - there is no cure and the drugs don't agree with me but ESA was stopped without informing me and subsequently  I was told I have to get a job - having looked after my autistic, epileptic daughter who also has many other problems, for 18 yrs before she went in to a residential placement ,I haven't worked for many years.  Neither am I capable of holding down a job with the illness and the side effects of the drugs.  DLA has refused my application and then again when appealed.  I also have to travel to visit my daughter in the week and then again for weekend home visits - I get no help financially for any of that!

I shudder to think what would be happening to us both if I didn't have a son- in-law who 'employs' me - even so he couldn't pay me enough to live on - thank god I have family - they shouldn't be paying though!

John
John's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2008

Your welcome to comment.

Without understanding your case history it is difficult to understand the decision making process.  You have clearly been through the process and subsequently had a maintained decision on DLA.  To be clear, and this is rather like HIV.  It does depend on many factors - how ill you are, what treatment you are on, your prognosis, other medical issues etc.

When you are first diagnosed with cancer the typical  entry pathway for DLA is DS1500 and for ESA you can use the DS1500 & supporting medical evidence concerning chemotherapy.

The question I guess is if you are considered by your own doctors to be in a remission and if you are on chemotherapy still.

Rather like HIV some have complex health issues and some manage to stablise on therapy. HIV like any other illness depends on the progression and dare I say if you are "HIV well" or "HIV unwell" and to what degree.  It seems from your comment the same applies to cancer.

anonymous (not verified)
anonymous's picture

I am severly disabled (but not sick) and live in a residential home (without nursing facilities) paid for by the local authority.

Will residents of my type of home be affected by this change or are there different types of Care Home?

David.

John
John's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2008

David it is very likely that you are in the group that will be affected.  It doesn't matter if nursing facilties are provided or not. Payment of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is an extra payment to cover the additional care and mobility costs you have.

Those in residential care, that they are not paying for privately, and is provided by a Public Body. Usually loose the care component of their DLA as the view is taken that the additional care needs are being paid for already, through taxation, for the residential care home place. Therefore the government take the view it doesn't have to pay twice.

There is a distinction between "care needs" and "medical needs'. Though often these are intertwined.

As for mobility it seem the same thinking is being applied. I would draw your attention to my observations here.<

kevin
kevin's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2009

RADAR strongly opposes the withdrawal of the DLA mobility component from people in residential care. This will deprive disabled people from a social and family life outside the walls of their institution.

We urge the Coalition Government to abandon this ill thought out and completely unacceptable measure which flies in the face of the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People and thus exposes the decision and the decision makers to litigation.

http://www.radar.org.uk/radarwebsite/tabid/287/default.aspx<

n/a
Michelle (not verified)
anonymous's picture

do you know if the proposed changes to the mobility component will affect children who have weekly residential school placements?

If it is intended to apply to them as well, how are we suppossed to get out of the house with our children at weekends and in the holidays, or for hospital appointments, etc.....

Has anyone even thought about children?

John
John's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2008

The simple answer is that I do not know.   Looking at the Budget & Spending Review as a whole children have done very badly.  On the question you put, it is not clear what the disability is. This would be useful to direct you to a more specific charity and also ensure that we raise this issue with them.

Michelle, you mention "weekly residential school placements". As I read the Spending Review 2010 Policy costings document from HM Treasury. It "implies" continuous residential care. Therefore if any child is only in a residential school during the school week and at home at weekends this would not be continuous.

This is similar to the issues on hospital stay. In that how long? are the number of days cumulative over a period of a year?

You point is entirely valid and last evening at the Joint APPG of various Disability Groups the case was made for the broader impact for disabled children who will not only suffer because of broader 'cuts' affecting children but the impact of DLA changes, ESA changes and of course the removal of local council service provision given that there budgets will shrink by up to a quarter by 2014/15.

Maria Miller MP Minister for the Disabled was asked by the Chair of the APPG Human Rights about the "Equality Impact Assessment" for all these changes. The Department for Work & Pensions has to legally undertake such assessment and Maria Miller said they would publish them.  He mentioned that there was the potential for legal challenge under UK & European Law.  We have to await this assessment to garner the impact, officially.

The removal of DLA was the most salient point of the evening and the Minister was left in no doubt about the implications and unfairness felt not only by members from both houses - Lord Rix (Mencap) made a very good argument.  The minister was pressed to look at this imparticar again. The cost savings are small about £135m over a parliament.

To quote the chair of the APPG Lady Campbell, "this will no doubt continue to be raised".

I can tell you that there are very good disability advocates in the Lords that will take this forward.

I would also refer you to the Observations I make in the first post as these were also debated last evening.

There will be welfare reform comming including to DLA and we have to await the detail.

Children are not forgotten and given the "full to the brim" meeting last night and some of the speakers. We all continue to raise the impact of the Spending Review & Budget on Children and Familes living with disability.

Finally, your question is one I would encourage you to write to your local MP about.

John
John's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2008

You may be interested in this recent caselaw that sets out further the definition of a "care home". Click here.

In the "Reasons for Decision" is some of the legislation you may want to look into further -

"

Judge Wikeley holds that the tribunal erred in law in concluding that that the college was 'first and foremost' an educational establishment, and therefore should not be treated as a care home, since

'...  there is no suggestion in either the Care Standards Act 2000 or in the Income Support (General) Regulations 1987 that a care home ceases to be a care home by virtue of fulfilling some other function, unless there is an express statutory exception in the primary or secondary legislation.' (paragraph 20)

Judge Wikeley goes on to state that there can be no doubt that the college was a care home within section 3 of the Care Standards Act 2000 because it provided 'accommodation, together with nursing or personal care' for 'persons who are disabled or infirm' within section 3(1) and 3(2)(c) of that Act.

Judge Wikeley also states that the college was not excluded by any of the specific exemptions listed in section 3(3)(a)-(c) of the Act and that -

'Section 3(3) also makes provision for an establishment not to be a care home if it is of 'a description excepted by regulations'. At the material time regulation 3 of the Care Home Regulations 2001 (SI 2001/3965) specified certain types of establishment as being excluded from the definition of care home. The only possibly relevant exception is in regulation 3(1)(d), which refers to 'an institution within the further education sector as defined by section 91(3) of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992'. However, according to regulation 3(3), that exception itself does not apply if

'(a) the establishment provides accommodation together with nursing or personal care to any person; and

(b) the number of such persons is more than one tenth of the number of students to whom it provides both education and accommodation.'' (paragraph 22).

Judge Wikeley concludes that it was plain from the tribunal’s findings and the evidence on file that the college fell within the ‘exception to the exception’ as set out in regulation 3(3)and so should be included in the definition of care home."

John
John's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2008

I have spoken to the Learning Disability Coalition< who in turn have passed on your point to the Campaign Manager at Every Disabled Child Matters at the Council for Disabled Children<.

In the response recieved they too are unclear about the issue but will seek to find clarity and will get back to me. I will of course publish the information when I have it.

Dave (not verified)
anonymous's picture

What confuses me is the fact that I keep reading that the medical will only be for people between 18 - 65 with the idea of getting some of them back to work. What if you already work full time and claim DLA, how does this work?

John
John's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2008

Dave thanks for that point and I can understand your confusion. However I hope this explaination will help.  Benefits are very complex in delivery, the number and more importantly the critera to qualify.  Often, people generalise and this leads to confusion.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a 'universal benefit' in so far as it is awarded on the basis of CARE & MOBILITY needs, following assessment. Its payment is to ensure that the additional costs of living with a disability don't erode, unfairly, the income a person has to normally live.  Whether this income is earned or paid in further benefits.

DLA payments are not means tested and therefore whether you recieve income support, work or are a multi-millionaire if you meet the assessment of care and mobility than you are entitled to a payment.

The fact you work or do not is entirely irrelevant at present.

The reason however why you and many may assume the idea is to "get people back to work". Concerns the payment of Incapacity Benefit and the exemptions to review of this benefit if you recieve DLA.  The generalisation comes from the statistical evidence that supports most people recieving DLA also recieve Incapacity Benefit.  As Incapacity Benefit is slowly being phased out with Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) this is where the anomoly of understanding comes from. 

The offical documents also make a distinction between those of "working age" who recieve DLA as opposed to those over state retirement age who do not work and continue to recieve DLA rather than Attendance Allowance. This can help with further misunderstanding.

So someone recieving DLA and on Incapacity Benefit may, by virtue of being migrated to ESA, be found under the ESA Work Capabiity Assessment (WCA) to be found to be capable of some work. There are no exemptions to ESA WCA as there were with Incapacity Benefit. The level of ESA or Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) they get will not, subject to DLA reform, affect there DLA payments. Nor will it affect there DLA if they then go on to under take some work.

So it is the relationship between benefits that leads to a degree of confusion.

I caveat all that I have said with two points. DLA for everyone will be subject to further reform as the government want to save over £1bn from the budget. Also legal challenge may also bring changes. Both of which we cannot foretell at the moment.

It has been suggested, and this is speculative still, that following the DLA reforms where everyone recieving DLA will be reviewed. There is likely to be a similar testing mechanism to the ESA Work Capability Assessment with a different focus on care & mobility needs.

Attendance Allowance needs a mention as this is essentially DLA (without the mobility component) for those that have care needs and on/after passing state retirement age.

Therefore one should assume that any reform of Disability Living Allowance may impact Attendance Allowance (AA) also.

Whether or not changes to DLA/AA will introduce means testing is speculation but, again, currently payment of DLA is not subject to work situation or asset/independant wealth or poverty.

Please comment if you have any further queries.

anonymous (not verified)
anonymous's picture

I am looking at receiving some financial support as I am currently poorly with back problems and HIV related symptoms, i.e. tiredness etc... after a good 19 years in the working world and being positive as well for almost 18 years.

Where do I start as I cannot return to work at the present time due to the deteoriation of my health.

 

Thank you.

 

 

John
John's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2008

Go to your local council website and see what HIV service provision is in your area. If you have a local HIV support service they will be able to advise you.  You can also call THT Direct< but they will only help you based on if they are paid to do so in your area. However they will also be able to direct you to a local HIV support Service.

The Citizens Advice Bureau< are also a good resource and HIV friendly. In fact many HIV support services have there welfare advice provided by Citizens Advice.

You can also find out about your entitlements at www.direct.gov.uk<

If you have finished work you should immediately engage with your local Jobcentre Plus<

You should put an application in for Employment & Support Allowance. You can do this at the Jobcentre or via direct.gov.uk.

Also submit a claim for Disability Living Allowance.<

It is true that everyones situation is different and I would start the benefit application process and see the organisations mentioned. However read through the various forums for more information.

Unfortunately we are unable to provide a personal service on specific claims.

Dave (not verified)
anonymous's picture

Thanks John for your comprehensive explanation, however, I am still confused in as much as if, as you state, the government want to save over £1bn from the budget, why are people over 65 or under 16 exempt. There is no difference between them or someone between that age who is working full time.

In my own case, I was awarded the higher rate mobility allowance of DLA some 11 years ago after a medical with a doctor from the DWP. This was awarded for three years duration  three times and then last time I received a letter stating that I was now going to receive it indefinitely. I was working full time all that time but retired on ill health last year aged 58 and went onto Local Government pension who had been my employer.

I receive no other benefits at all to supplement this pension with the exception of my mobility allowance which has been swapped for a vehicle under the motability scheme to help me get round. There is no way I am going to be able to work again and although I feel confident that any medical will still go in my favour, it just seems a tremendous waste of resources when the whole idea in the first place is to save on these resources. 

John
John's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2008

Dave, I have speculated on what may happen to those over state retirement age in the forum post Reforming Disability Allowance< .

You confusion is shared as, and I am sorry to repeat myself, until we see the whole reform package in a few years time we simply do not know what will happen with the age groups you mention.

What worries me is that the the 'anomoly' in the DLA/AA may be address as this would certainly save much money.  I am extremely concerned that the government may enforce a change here to people when they reach state retirement age. That is that when you reach state retirement age you loose entitlement to DLA and are moved to Attendance Allowance (AA) instead.  Attendance Allowance only covers care so you would immediately save here as you would save the money paid in mobility component to those who's claim for DLA continues post state retirement age. This is speculation on my part. However look at the changes to DLA Mobility for those in publicly funded residential care.

Of course there is a political dimension to this.  Changing DLA for those under 16 may well be politically too sensitive to do given the recent outcry over Child Benefit. The public is always ready to sympathise with outcomes for children.  On the over state retirement age group. We an ageing population and this cohort most likely to vote. Again there may be a political dimension to the degree of change.

Sorry I cannot clear up your confusion, we are all waiting for clarity and will always pubish when we know.

Melanie James (not verified)
anonymous's picture

I have two children with severe autism, one boards 38 weeks home holidays the other Monday to Friday.  I don't know what I will do if they cut the mobility , it means my son in a 38 week school will have to change schools into a 52 week placement as I am unable to transport without a car, this is wicked to the extreme.

Melanie James

anonymous (not verified)
anonymous's picture

i am in reciept of these benifits...and am really worried how changes r going 2 affect me...

Can U tell me when changes will take place...an when 2 expect a letter regarding it

thank u

Anne (not verified)
anonymous's picture

Dear John

Can you advise on any groups or campaigns I could join to look at challenging the removal of mobility allowance for people in local authority funded placements. I think we need to work together on this as individuals will not have the clout to be heard.

Thanks

kevin
kevin's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2009

Anne hi,

One way, which is currently closed at the moment is to petition NO. 10 http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/new< ,  Radar http://www.radar.org.uk/radarwebsite/< or your main disabiling condition might have additional routes of communiting your concerns. Like us your comment is seen by all. Write to your MP also might help http://tcell.org.uk/forums/how-write-your-mp-online-short-video<

I have asked John to comment further and will keep a look out for additional sites that covers this, http://www.communitycare.co.uk/carespace/forums/default.aspx< may provide an alternative.

n/a
John
John's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2008

Yes RADAR is a good start. Age UK< will be taking a lead on this also as it is affecting a significant cohort of the elderly. However the national based charities are all engaged in this and other issues. 

You are correct in that broadly we should use our collective voice on an issues that affects us all as disabled people regardless of our disability.

If you have a particular disabling condition or support a particular charity they will certainly welcome someone who will help them campaign.

We publish consultations that you can also submit a response to.

Of course you can individually lobby your MP and your local councillors to ensure that the forthcoming changes have the least impact on the most vulnerable.

kevin
kevin's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2009

Worried about the proposal to remove the DLA mobility from people living or staying long-term in residential care?

Take Action Now:

1.      Tell us how this will affect you – email campaigns@radar.org.uk. We will use the information in our campaign (anonymously if you prefer). Click here to read Mrs King's Story

2.      Send an email to your MP through Mencap: Email your MP (this is for all people with any impairment or health condition and their supporters).

On Monday 1 November Baroness Campbell raised her case in the House of Lords: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201011/ldhansrd/text/101101-0002.htm

 

<
n/a
anonomouse (not verified)
anonymous's picture

If people are in continuos care homes they should not have mobility allowance . its up to the care Home to provide cost of mobility

John
John's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2008

In the first post in this forum thread I mentioned I was seeking further clarification on some points of DLA Mobility component.  I wanted to know what was defined as "Hospital" - I know you would think this would be straight forward but I have learnt to get the specifics. 

More importantly I wanted to know what happens if you meet the definition of Hospial and what would happen to a Motability Lease if you had one. This was concerning what is commonly refered to as the "Motability exemption".

For the full response click here.<

I highlight this point though -<

You also asked for more information explaining the “Motability Exemption”
mentioned under the “Static costing” sub-heading of the policy costings
document “Removal of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) Mobility Component
from Care Home Residents from October 2012”

 
Currently, those who have been in hospital, or a similar institution to a
hospital, for longer than 28 days (84 days in the case of children) cease to
receive payment of any mobility component of Disability Living Allowance
.
 
People who are admitted to hospital and have a leased Motability vehicle,
currently benefit from an extension to their mobility allowance beyond the
28/84 days for the remaining duration of the lease.
   
 
The proposal is that this extension will no longer apply, and long-term hospital
in patients with Mobility lease cars will be treated on the same basis as those
who do not have a lease agreement upon entering hospital.
Motability were
consulted on this measure and are already considering how they will manage
any impacts this measure will have on the relatively small number of their
customers affected by it.  

 
These people will retain an underlying entitlement to the benefit and payment
will be reinstated when they leave hospital providing they continue to satisfy
eligibility conditions
.
 
This measure removes an unfair rule that treats an
estimated 2000 customers more favourably than other state funded in-
patients of hospitals or similar institutions simply because they have a
Motability agreement.    
<

 

I have responded requiring clarification on if the 28 (84 days Children) is continuous or not over a period of time.

anonymous (not verified)
anonymous's picture

could you clarify whether the motability exemption has already been stopped for hospital admissions, or if it is still a proposal only to stop it and yet to be implemented? it seems ambiguous in the wording. my wife has been admitted to hospital and has received notification that dla has been stopped but no mention of her motability lease agreement.

John
John's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2008

If your wife has had her DLA stopped you will need to establish with the DWP as to why?. There are existing arrangements for payment of benefits of people in hospital care, that is they can be stopped whilst that person is in Hospital recieving treatment.  As the post above implies this is a proposal at time of writting. See http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/HealthAndSupport/Hospitals/DG_4000474< that covers benefits when in Hospital.

Your Motability lease is separate from your DWP DLA Mobility payment.  It is a lease between you and Motability for which you agree that your DLA Mobility Payment is paid over to cover the financial cost of the lease. If DLA has been stopped than Motability will notice when the payments to them stop. However I would advise you inform them of what is going on. Especially if you are challenging the withdraw of your wifes DLA as they may well be able to help.

http://www.motability.co.uk<

kevin
kevin's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2009

Disabled children living in residential care could be prevented from seeing their families at weekends and holidays following the government's welfare reforms.

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced that the mobility component of the disability living allowance (DLA) will be suspended from 2012 when an adult or child is in residential care.

The change, which will be implemented in October 2012, could see families lose out on benefits of almost £50 per week which they use to fund motability schemes or other transport costs.

<

Many families rely on the benefits to fund motability schemes or specially adapted cars to transport children to and from residential settings at weekends and during holidays, according to Contact A Family, which supports families with disabled children.

This financial help is equally essential during holiday periods when children may need to be transported to and from important medical appointments.

The charity is concerned that the changes will hit families hard. "Families with disabled children are more likely to be living in poverty, so can ill afford to take a hit to their family finances like this. The change could see families £49.85 a week worse off," a spokesperson said.

Laura Courteney, campaign manager for Every Disabled Child Matters, said: "EDCM is concerned that the changes to mobility allowance will apply to disabled children who are in long-term residential care or residential schools. This would significantly restrict disabled children's ability to spend time with their family outside of school or care, and to access community activities with their friends."

Experts are expecting the benefits to be suspended when a child stays for longer than 84 days in residential care, in line with hospital rules. They are waiting for the government to clarify whether this will apply to both residential schools and residential care homes, and if a family's motability scheme will continue until the end of the contract.

http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/2010/11/19/115858/benefit-cut-co...<

n/a
anonymous (not verified)
anonymous's picture

hi, my mother has d.l.a. mobility component at highest rate ,she,s had since 1992 and its indefinatly ,but her circumstances have changed in that she needs a carer now can she get the care component now and would it effect her mobility component ,she,s 80

X